When did you get your first e-mail address? Mine was back in 1995, originating at Philadelphia’s premier Internet provider: Netaxs.com, who went by the wayside in the early twenty-first century and sold out to a large conglomerate who has since been swallowed up by an even bigger concern. Nevertheless, Netaxs offered dial-up service, the only thing available at the time that married my 19Kbits/s modem to the Information Super-highway; later upgrading to a 56Kbit/s model, making me feel like I was surfing the Web while being jet-propelled by two Pratt and Whitney engines—funny how things have changed.
Anyone remember dial-up, and the accompanying crazy, bird-like chirping noises complete with the nasal sounds of geese honking, all made while connecting to the IP’s mainframe computer by telephone line? Thank goodness that’s over with. Now, after the advent of broadband, cable and satellite connectivity, just a flick of a switch is all one hears until jamming to videos on Youtube and rock ‘n’ roll from the external hard drive.
I maintained my first e-mail address for the past two centuries up until yesterday, finally realizing that it was time to let it go. Parting was such sweet sorrow. Dial-up is a thing of the past, although few still use it for whatever reasons they have. The Netaxs address survived extinction after my switching to cable Internet, and remained number one in my list of e-mail accounts; as I operated a few Web sites on my own machines, utilizing the e-mail addy for contacting me as the Webmaster and owner of the respective domains. However, that all came to an end when my servers severely crashed and burned; no more Pratt and Whitney jet engines to speak of, just smoke and the smell of transformers, transistors, diodes and microchips, sizzling, swan-singing and burning away into mass oblivion. Rather than buying new equipment and starting all over, I decided wearily to hang up my Webmaster’s hat, bringing us back to why I let go of my original e-mail account.
Mike Slickster Syndication’s former server rack
Upon my attempting to pay last month’s Internet bill on the newest conglomerate’s Web site, the accounting processor was not available, forcing me to return the next day to make the payment. No sweat, but that incident made me question, why was I keeping open a dial-up account, when only using it for e-mail purposes, costing me twenty bucks a month? Here comes the tirade!
I opened an e-ticket at the IP’s site on the 26th of last month, stating I wanted to discontinue using their services, and to please confirm this action. Yesterday, I received an e-mail ratifying my request, but the customer-service rep. apologized for just getting my message after only ten days. This is what she had to say:
Hello Mike Slickster,
Thank you for contacting Big Conglomerate’s Customer Care. I do apologize
that you haven’t heard back about this request yet. I have created order
# 2317094 to disconnect this account. This order could take up to 30 days
to complete. If you need further assistance please feel free to call Customer
Care at 877-555-5555 (not a real telephone number).
Thanks and have a great day!
It takes thirty days to press “Click,” “Delete,” or “Turn Off Account”? I can believe it, if it took them ten days to read through their e-tickets. Oh, well, such is life, I thought, and instantly got an error notification sent from my laptop’s e-mail client. The message read that it couldn’t connect to my Netaxs account, that my username or password was rejected; and the server needed further verification. That was a fast thirty days. Sending an e-mail to the Netaxs address using my other mainstay account, I quickly received from the latter’s mailer-daemon, an indication my electronic mail sent was bounced back by Netaxs, confirming my account had been disconnected. Being the obsessive-compulsive, super sleuth that I am, I attempted to log on to the Internet provider’s Web site to see if I could get into my account and bingo: there I was, successfully admitted and staring at an invoice that was issued the day before yesterday, conveniently twenty-four hours before the disconnect order was processed.
My blood pressure was beginning to rise over the fact that my Netaxs e-mail address was officially voided, and yet a bill was sent for a month’s service when only one day was actually used. A query was spontaneously conveyed to Janelle, confronting her with this and asking why I had to pay? This was her reply:
Hello Mike Slickster,
Thank you for contacting Big Conglomerate Customer Care. The disconnect
order is still in progress for this account. Once the disconnect order
has completed, the billing will back date to the last day of service.
If you need further assistance please feel free to call Customer Care at
Thanks and have a great day!
Not normally one to quibble about twenty bucks, regardless if charged for just one day’s service, I feel it’s the principle of this virtual infraction of taking ten days for a response to a correspondence. Back in my customer-service days, if I sat on an e-mail for so long without replying to a client, I could have gotten fired! Never would I ever insist nor wish for Janelle’s being disciplined for a measly double sawbuck, but I feel ripped-off by the system again; plus I hadn’t written a tirade in a while and this made good fodder. On the plus side, after eighteen years using the same e-mail address, I must have been on every spammer’s mailing list since the beginning of the twenty-first century; and now my in-box will be free of all that spam sent to Netaxs. Nonetheless, with that in mind, let’s for one last time take a trip through my Junk E-mail Bin as cluttered by my first Internet fling, shall we?
Junk Mail In-bin
The first one on the list came from the desk of Adiele Asobi, who sough my assistance for the transfer of “US$25M depository” made by a foreign investor, dead with no heir; and all this money was left behind, blah-blah-blah. You’ve read this all before; I’m sure. All I had to do is send the following to Adiele’s e-mail:
Full Name and Address:
Date of Birth:
Telephone & Fax Numbers:
Etc., but you get the point: how do these scammers think they can, or actually get suckers to respond to such absurdity, especially when the e-mail was sent to undisclosed recipients?
The next in-line from Gina Dehart read as follows:
Are you starting to look old MikeSlickster@netaxs.com?
Then you need to see this 55-year-old mother and what she did to her face.
She now looks like she’s in her 30s (check out her pictures in the article)
The crazy thing is it only cost her five-dollars to do it. See for yourself
by reading her story_below.
http://LetmeRipyouOffFast.com (not the actual URL)
Now that I didn’t have to worry about generating more spam to Netaxs, I clicked the URL to find out what it was all about, only to discover a dead link. Don’t try this at home if you lack up-to-date virus and malware protection.
The third one extolled:
Cooking Spice That Makes You Burn Calories?
* – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – *
Have you seen this MikeSlickster@netaxs.com?
Add this to your diet, and turn your body into a “calorie burning machine.”
Simply sleep and burn double the amount of calories. (Imagine… calories
burning while you rest your head on the pillow)Read what this popular doctor
has to say about THIS spice in this “exclusive” news story. It’s truly
This really did strike my interest, but again, a dead link was included. Doing a search on Yahoo, I couldn’t find anything about spice-induced caloric loss during sleep, although a mention of drinking green tea before bed claimed to increase one’s metabolism to aid in burning calories. The only spice I can think of that could do the trick would be “psyllium,” a member of the plantain family, which is both a bulking agent and demulcent; and it has long been used in treating both constipation and diarrhea. Take a bunch of that before going to sleep, and guaranteed from the plethora of sit-downs on the pot overnight to empty your bowels, several pounds will be shed. Better yet, try psilocybin mushrooms, definitely known to raise one’s metabolism while tripping radiantly in one’s sleep; not to mention the excessive weight-flushing, bed-sheet-drenching perspiration subsequently generated in large proportions from the vividly poignant, profoundly strange dreams and hellacious hallucinations encountered along the way.
Fourth, Western Union allegedly sent an e-mail, once again to undisclosed recipients; claiming I was the beneficiary of “$2,000,000.00 (two million United State dollars),” from being scammed and listed by the “West Africa Financial Intelligent Unit (WAFIU),” entitling me to receive the mother lode by sending them $250.00 as a processing fee, and to give them my credit card number. Right, and I’ll also hand over my bank-account credentials, as requested, for them to deposit the money; also granting them my Social Security number for tax purposes. These hoodlums must bank on the age-old adage, “There’s a sucker born every minute.”
The last one showcased from this lengthy list is about publishing one’s hard work. I clicked the link given, which put me through a few introductory pages until asking how much I would be willing to spend, to get my book published? Good-bye, here was another obvious scam-a-roo, willing to take as much moola away as possible from some unsuspecting, hapless individual. No publisher worth their weight in salt would charge you to put your book into print, but then of course, your tome must be extraordinary for them to even look at it, after sending a Nobel-prize-winning query letter ahead of time.
Thus ends another long-winded tirade, and most likely the last trip through my Junk Mail In-bin for a while, until my other e-mail addresses end up on the notorious spammer’s lists worldwide, and specifically in Nigeria. Good day!